Welcome to another fabulous journey around the world. Today on Scenic Hunter, we will take you to a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s a land with Christ clean air and cinematic landscape. So, join us on this beautiful journey to the Republic of Iceland.

#1. Country Profile

vector illustration of Map of Iceland with national flag

Reykjavik is the capital and most populated city as well as the largest city of Iceland. The total population of the country is 356991. Nordic and Gaelic people were the original population of Iceland. The Southwest part of the country is home to over two-thirds of the total population. Iceland’s official language is Icelandic. Religion is a church in the northwest of Iceland., however, Icelanders have freedom of religion. Iceland’s government does allow home education for their children under a very strict set of demands. Iceland has no standing army. Because of the low crimes, Icelandic police don’t use guns.

#2. Geography

Iceland is located in a volcanically and geologically active area. Its total land area is close to 103,000 square kilometers and it is the 106th large country and 18th largest island in the world. This total land area is covered by lava fields, mountains, glaciers, and sand fields. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe as well as in the world. Defined by dramatic landscapes, delicious foods, fascinating culture says Iceland is truly a beautiful country.

Kirkjufell at sunrise in Iceland. Beautiful landscape.

Iceland is closest to Greenland and Norway. Actually, Iceland is closer to Europe than its mainland of North America. Thus, the country is generally included in Europe for geographical, political, cultural as well as practical reasons. Iceland is the world’s 18th largest island and the second-largest island in Europe after Great Britain. 15% of the mainland is covered by glaciers waterfalls and lakes, only 23% is vegetated. Iceland has about 30 minor Islands. Its largest lake is Porisvatn and the deepest lake is Jikulsarlon.

The massive glaciers and volcanos are simply intensified Iceland’s beauty. Iceland consists of hundreds of volcanoes with over 30 active volcanic systems. Iceland owns a 4970km long coastline, which is where most settlements are situated. The Highland of Iceland is cold and uninhabitable because of the sand fields, mountains, glaciers, and lava fields.

#3. History

The ancient manuscript stated that the settlement of Iceland began in 874 A.D as well as Ingolf Arnarson became the first settler in Iceland. After his arrival Scandinavian and Norwegian immigrated to the island. They brought Gaelic origins with them as slavers.

Hallgrímskirkja church and Reykjavik cityscape in Iceland aerial panoramic view

Island was governed as an independent Commonwealth under the Parliament from 930 to 1262, which is considered as one of the world’s oldest legislative assemblies and longest-running Parliament. Because of the several Internal struggles and civil strife of Iceland, ended the Commonwealth and brought Iceland under the Norwegian crown. Thereafter, brought under the Denmark crown, and during the 17th and 18th century they imposed harsh trade restrictions. During this period natural disasters, volcanic eruptions and diseases led to a decrease in population. An Icelandic independence movement started in the 1850s under the guidance and leadership of Jon Sigurasson. As a result of that Denmark granted a constitution and limited rules in 1874. In 1944 Iceland formally became a republic and Sveinn Bjornsson was appointed as the first president.

#4. Economy

This beautiful land became one of the most developed nations and wealthiest in the world, after world war II. Iceland has a market economy. In 2020, Iceland was ranked as the 4th one according to the human development index and 1st on the global peace index. Iceland is considered as one of the most productive countries in the world.

Stykkisholmur colorful Icelandic houses. Stykkisholmur is a town situated in the western part of Iceland, in the northern part of the Saefellsnes peninsula

As a result of its involvement in renewable energy, the global green economic index ranked Iceland among the top 10 greenest economies in the world in 2016. Iceland has the highest quality of life, high economic freedom, the lowest rate of income inequality, and a low unemployment rate. Iceland’s economy has been diversifying into few specialized areas including software production, fishery, biotechnology, ecotourism, etc. The tourism sector is expanding annually. More than 1.1 million tourists visit Iceland annually, which is more than 3 times its population.

#5. Wildlife & Animals

The only native land mammal of Iceland is the Arctic fox but now we can see animals like Icelandic sheep, cattle, chickens, Icelandic horses, Icelandic sheepdog, and all descendants of animals imported by Europeans. Wild mammals include Arctic fox, mink, mice, rats, rabbits, and reindeer.

White Morph Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) in Barrow, arctic Alaska, USA.

#6. Foods Culture

Iceland cuisine is based on fish, lamb, other meats, and dairy products. Because of the cold climate usually, fruits and vegetables or herbs and spices are not the main component of traditional dishes. The main meal of the day is dinner and the popular beverage is coffee.

Grilled salmon steak nordic style rustic seafood dish


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